Devon Seale delivered two masterful performances to be crowned the 2016 Calypso Monarch at Sunday's Dimanche Gras at the Queen's Park Savannah in Port of Spain.
After filling the runner-up berth last year, Seale up the ante with “Respect God's Voice” and “Spirit of Carnival” to beat a strong field of contenders.
On what could best be described as the night the younger generation schooled the old bards, Helon Francis, 22, the 2016 Young King Calypso Monarch, who was making his first appearance at the Savannah's “Big Yard”, took second while two-time defending monarch Roderick “Chucky” Gordon was third.
In “Respect God's Voice” which was directed at former Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Seale reminder her that she was fond of saying Vox Populi, Vox Dei –the voice of the people is the voice of God. He tells her that the people made their choice by voting her out of office at the last election so she should respect that decision and not be a sore loser.
It won him the loudest show of appreciation from the audience, whose applauding and whistles of approval could be heard long after he had left the stage.
In round two Seale's delivery of “Spirit of Carnival” was also well received.
Taking the stage dressed as a blue devil with his body painted as if in preparation for Jouvert and accompanied by an entourage of jab jab, he served up a tongue-in-cheek ditty about artistes of old singing a 'party song' in the second round of the Dimanche Gras as there was an unspoken rule that no one would get pong in the second round.
Nowadays however, he said, in the second round is lecture like we in some class while good, good soca kicking brass.
He sings, “Why must I sing bout Kamla, why she like masala or the PP bacchanal
Although I love meh picong songs in the second round…spirit of carnival,
People want to, jump, and they want to, wave
Spread their wings and break away
People want to, wine, and they want to, grind
Because in two hours is Jouvert
With the hot and sweaty jab jab, stink and dutty jab jab, kicking off the festival
The second round too boring, look at people snoring…spirit of carnival.”
His delivery definitely broke the series of political commentary that graced the Savannah and it probably swayed the judges' decision in his favour.
Francis was impressive in his first Dimanche Gras appearance with his smooth delivery of “Paradise” and “Real Bandits”, showing that he's one for the future while Gordon was his consistent self in performing “”Fixing Time” and “It Eh Go Wuk”.
Karene Asche, another of the young crop of calypsonians and who copped the crown in 2011, rounded out the top four with two solid renditions of “Bring Back The Love” and “The Politics Of Spite.”
Seale took home one million dollars for his winning effort with Francis, Gordon and Asche, picking up $500,000, $250,000 and $150,000, respectively.
1. Devon Seale – “Respect God's Voice”/”Spirit Of Carnival
2. Helon Francis – “Paradise”/”Real Bandits”
3. Roderick “Chucky” Gordon – “Fixing Time”/”It Eh Go Wuk”
4. Karene Asche – “Bring Back The Love”/”The Politics Of Spite”
5. Selvon “Mistah Shak” Noel – “Generation Next”/”#HYSM”
6. Dr Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool – “The Bad Road”/”When Trini Get Vex”
7. Heather Mc Intosh – “By Other Men's Fault”/”The Headquarters”
8. Victoria “Queen Victoria” Cooper-Rahim – “More Hope”/”The Aftershock”
9. Winston “Gypsy” Peters – “Too Many”/”Ship Of State”
10. Weston “Cro Cro” Rawlins – “Advice To The Boss”/”Ah Feel It For Gayle”
11. Carlos “Skatie” James – “Jus Come Chinee”/”Back On Track”
12. Marsha Davis “Lady Adanna” Clifton – “Murder A Day”/”My Music”